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Sleep Surgeon Question 56

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Question 56- Dealing with medications following surgery?

From: Troy


I have a question for you Dr.L.. I recently had a successfull mma after trying the usual remedies ie; cpap, oral appliances ect.. I have been on clonezepam .5mg 1 and a half at bedtime for approximately 5 yrs. After my surgery ( which enlarged the airway from about 3mm to approximately 9cm) I slept really well and dreampt alot later in the morning, of course that was with taking the clonezepam and pain meds as needed.

After stopping the pain meds I decided to slowly reduce the amount of clonezepam by one quarter tablet every three to four weeks untill totally off the drug. Now I get about four to four and a half hours sleep and have to get up and read something untill I get tired in order to get back to sleep, I also find that I dream less frequently than when I was on the pain meds and higher dose of clonezepam.

My questions to you are 1) Do you think my sleep time and quality will increase once my body adapts to using its own sleep mechanism rather than relying on benzos? and 2) Do you think it's it is a good idea to safely and slowly wean myself off the clonezepam so that I can sleep naturally to the best of my bodies own abilities now that my airway problem is solved? 3) Do you know if clonezepam causes the deeper stages of sleep including REM to decline?

Thanks for your help in advance,


Response Provided by Dr. Kasey Li
Feb. 12, 2010

You will need to work with a sleep specialist to wean off the Benzo. It will take time but will benefit your overall sleep. In addition to sleep apnea, you also have insomnia, which affects your sleep as well. Working with a sleep specialist will be helpful.

Good luck.


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